By PATRICK SLACK
In a tightly contested game in which each team had multiple opportunities to seize control, Albany edged the Little Falls baseball team 3-2 in eight innings in Tuesday’s Sub-Section 6AA East quarterfinals at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
The two teams combined to leave 21 runners on base.
Little Falls jumped on top early when senior Mitch Gregory dashed home on a wild pitch in the first inning.
After Albany knotted the score in the second, senior starting pitcher Luke Thoma helped his own cause when he drove in junior Spencer Fenske with an RBI double to put the Flyers back in front.
The score held at 2-1 until the seventh.
The Flyers closed within a strike of advancing, but Albany scored the tying run on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
Thoma struck out the next batter to keep the score tied, but Albany broke through with another run in the eighth to take the lead and the game.
Little Falls had two runners on with one out in the seventh and eighth but couldn’t bring a run around.
Senior Joey Hanowski finished 2-for-3 with a triple for the Flyers.
Senior Tony Arnold, junior Collin Eckman, Thoma and Gregory also collected hits, with Thoma going the distance on the mound.
Little Falls, which spent most of the season ranked first in Class AA, finished the season with a 20-2 record, including a perfect 12-0 mark in the Granite Ridge Conference.
Seniors on this year’s team included Michael Holthaus, Mitch Gregory, Tony Arnold, Luke Thoma, Michael Anderson, Joey Hanowski, Ian Stewart and Matt Valentine.
Albany 3 10 0
Flyers 2 6 1
Little Falls—Joey Hanowski: 2-3, 3B; Luke Thoma: 1-2, 2B, RBI; Mitch Gregory: 1-2, R; Tony
Arnold: 1-4; Collin Eckman: 1-4; Thoma: 8-IP, 3-R, 10-H, 3-BB, 5-K.